This post is going to be a little deeper, perhaps darker, but nonetheless important.
As I spend more time on social media, becoming engrossed in other people’s lives and platforms I have come to notice the fabricated threshold that we have created for ourselves, and one another regarding our mental and emotional states. Whilst there is a difference between self and clinical diagnoses, feeling depressed one day and having depression – we are so quick to judge and contest others for speaking out when they aren’t feeling ok. People take offence and want to deprive people of discussing these topics if they feel they are being illegitimate. As someone who has struggled tremendously for the past two years I do understand this viewpoint to an extent, but while some may feel ripped off or cheated because they have truly endured a tough battle, we need to see this as a constructive opportunity. More and more people are speaking out, discussing a once taboo topic and sharing their personal stories with their friends, followers and platforms.
My fifteen year old sister said to me the other day, “I feel as though I can’t talk to anyone about feeling sad because I’m still happy sometimes” – this really struck a chord with me, and after her saying this my eyes were opened to the nasty comments and people who believe you are not worthy to ask for help unless you’re mental health has deteriorated to an extreme state. We live in a generation full of potential, courage to tackle controversial issues and creativity but yet also find ourselves in the midst of a mental health epidemic.
We say we want to focus on prevention of mental illness and suicide, yet we discourage and undermine others for speaking out or asking for help if they don’t surpass society’s threshold of mental deterioration.
There is no threshold.
You don’t have to be sad or anxious everyday to confide in someone and tell them that you’re struggling. You don’t need to be weak and withdrawn or taking prescription medicine to be worthy of asking for help. It’s ok not to be ok – whether your problems are big or small, reaching out or speaking out relieves the burden significantly.
Let’s break through this barrier together, and create a world were there is no criteria upon which “struggling” is defined. Lend your ear, open your heart and normalise these conversations.
There is no threshold. We are all worthy of asking for help. We all deserve to be happy.